Latrobe OKs library sidewalk repair, seeks police technology grant – TribLIVE

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Latrobe Council seeks to improve access to the city’s public library while it pursues funds for upgrading technology used by the police department.
City council this week awarded a $5,845 contract to low bidder McMahon Construction for replacement of a sidewalk located between a city parking lot along Chestnut Street and the rear entrance to Adams Memorial Library.
According to City Manager Michael Gray, the surface of the walk has become uneven as a result of the freeze-and-thaw cycle. “It’s a tripping hazard,” he said.
“It’s a dangerous spot for the (library) clientele,” said Deputy Mayor Eric Bartels, who serves on the library board.
Mayor Rosie Wolford expressed hope the project can be complete before Election Day, on Nov. 2. because the library serves as the polling place for voters in the city’s Third Ward.
The police department has applied for a $49,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to upgrade computers, software and radios.
Police Chief John Sleasman said the grant would not require a local match. He said the funding would provide for new radios and computers for police vehicles, as well as forensic software for extraction of data from mobile and cellular devices.
It also would assist the department in upgrading a voice analysis computer.
Gray said the city expects a decision on the application in December.
Sleasman reported his department’s new body-worn cameras, in service for a few months, are “a great asset. They are not only allowing the officers to review footage to prepare a more detailed report. They give supervisors an additional tool when performing officer evaluations or when reviewing critical incidents.”
Paving, surveillance, software upgrades eyed
Council approved moving forward with several projects that will draw upon part of the $818,000 pandemic recovery funding the city will have to spend over two years.
Council authorized city engineering firm Gibson-Thomas Engineering to prepare plans for a street paving project that could be funded with money Latrobe is receiving to compensate for lost revenue during the pandemic. While those plans have yet to be finalized, Gray has noted a section of Ligonier Street leading up to Chestnut Street wasn’t included in areas that were just resurfaced as part of downtown intersection improvements.
Gray said the city has documented $401,000 in lost revenue during the pandemic.
Council additionally authorized Gray to seek bids for upgrading downtown surveillance cameras and proposals for software that can be used to conduct virtual meetings.
Secretary appointment official
Karen Meholic officially was appointed to the dual roles of director of finance and administration and city secretary. She has filled the posts on an interim basis since May, following the departure of her predecessor, Roxanne Shadron.
Gray said Meholic’s compensation will be determined as part of 2022 budget preparations. He said it doesn’t appear the city will need to increase taxes to support the budget.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .
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